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Midshipman Nathaniel Coleman briefs staff members of Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, during a summer internship capstone presentation. (Photo credit: Nick Bauer)

The U.S. Pacific Fleet (COMPACFLT) completed its first summer paid internship program with midshipmen from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s newly established Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC).

The two-month pilot program provided eleven midshipmen the opportunity to join the Pacific Fleet headquarters command as full staff members for the summer and gain broad experience in the naval services’ role in the Indo-Pacific.

The training included embarking on various naval platforms, including overnight embarks aboard USS Abraham Lincoln and amphibious assault ship USS Essex, and participating in a familiarization program with the U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific (MARFORPAC) during Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2022. The opportunity gave the midshipmen real-world experience with navies from 26 nations.

Adm. Samuel Paparo, commander, COMPACFLT, explained the importance of creating the internship program.

“As U.S. Pacific Fleet, the Navy’s largest and most expansive fleet is located on Oʻahu, we welcomed the opportunity to work alongside the University of Hawaiʻi NROTC to create the paid internship for the midshipmen,” said Paparo. “These midshipmen are receiving a world-class education and a vast experience working with the Navy’s oldest Fleet headquarters.”

Along with earning qualifications, completing ship simulators, and hands-on training aboard ships, like the guided-missile destroyer USS Daniel Inouye, students also completed group capstone projects on increasing amphibious lethality and contested logistics as they prepare for the upcoming semester.

“My favorite event was being able to use an MV-22 simulator, but my most memorable experience was talking to the chiefs on the Essex,” said Kealoha Yamaguchi, a midshipman with the UH Mānoa NROTC unit. “Learning about the chiefs’ experiences and knowledge, and what they want us, as future officers, to know going into the fleet. This opportunity has shown me that every aspect of the Navy and Marine Corps contributes to the overall success of the mission.”

The internship program was open to students in the UH Mānoa NROTC unit who had completed 40 credit hours with a good academic standing.

UH Mānoa’s NROTC program was established in August 2020 with the mission to develop midshipmen mentally, morally, and physically and to instill the Navy’s core values of honor, courage, and commitment to commission college graduates as naval officers. More information and apply to the NROTC program.

Read more from the Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet website.

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